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be blistered. This happens if we are not lay side by side, and each carried messages in looking at the hand when we put it down. If only one direction. In the brain and spinal we know that we are going to put the hand cord the two kinds of nerve matter can be on something hot we can make the action so seen quite distinctly, and so they can in what quick that no harm ensues, as can be seen are called the beginnings or roots of the when a woman touches an iron to see whether ordinary nerves that convey messages of both it is hot enough to be used for ironing the kinds. As we trace these nerves away from clothes.
their roots, however, the grey and the white “But,” it will be said, “how is it that, if it matters get so much mixed up that we cannot is the brain which feels, our head is not con- distinguish them. It is none the less likely, tinually aching? We hurt our hand, and our however, that even in these ordinary nerves hand feels." This is one of those things the different sorts of messages keep to their which seem to be, and which in reality are own different means of conveyance. Is there not. A little thinking on what has just been not here a marvellous order to be observed ? said will show that our hand, if ever so much The messages can run side by side without injured, only feels when the nerve communi- interfering with each other. In this telegraph cation is uninterrupted between it and the there needs be no “clearing of the lines" brain. But the fact that we seem to feel it from one kind of message that the other kind in the hand or whatever part has been injured may go forward. A singular result of this is quite true, and is expressed in the follow- doubleness of the nerves, as we may call it, ing phrase, that the brain refers all sensations is, that one part of a nerve may be rendered to the ends of the nerves. This is so much powerless by injury or disease, while the the case that when a man has lost his other part still remains in working order. arm or leg through accident, if anything Thus if the white root of a nerve be injured, makes the cut nerve ache, he will tell you the power of feeling remains, while that of that his arm or his leg aches still, although motion is gone in all the parts to which the it is cut off. The fact that the pains seem to branches of that nerve are sent. If the grey be felt by the injured part serves to protect root be injured, the power of motion remains, us, and the brain is not wearied directly by but feeling is gone. the pains of the body.
When a message is sent along one set of Some of our nerves are told off for special nerves to the brain it may give rise to action service. They have one thing only to do, in a totally different set of nerves from that and that thing we are bound to see that they by which the message has been conveyed. are trained to do well. Such are the nerves For instance, a sudden, sharp noise is heard, of sight, of hearing, of taste, and of smell. and as a result the hearers start; some, perThese all have special work to do, and they haps, scream. Here a message of sound has do that and no other, so that we have clear gone by the nerve of hearing to the brain. messages brought by them. What sources | It has gone so sharply and suddenly that it of pleasure and of instruction are thus opened has set in motion the nerves which have to us!
jerked the muscles all over the body, and By far the greater number of the nerves of caused us to start. Now here the brain has our body have, however, two kinds of work acted by itself so to speak. The impulse set to do. By the same nerve messages are sent going in one pair of nerves, those of hearing, both to and from the brain and the spinal has been carried on into a great number of cord. But the messages are of different other nerves, and the will has had nothing to kinds; and, marvellous to relate, they pass do with it. It is as if one end of a long into the spinal cord and the brain by different row of marbles or a long string of beads had parts of the same nerve. When the brain been pushed, and the impulse had been and the spinal cord are examined it is found carried all through them. But the peculiar that nerve matter is of two kinds, different in character of this action is, that the brain has structure, and different also in colour. These changed a message of sensation into a mesare called the grey matter, and the white sage of motion by its own act. We can matter. It has been found that, beyond control the jerk of our muscles a little perhaps, doubt, the messages of feeling (sensory mes- and certainly, unless our nerves are very sages as they are called) go to the brain by unhealthily sensitive, we can control the the grey matter; and the messages ordering scream; but we cannot prevent the jerkmotion to take place (motor messages) are that is a thing which the brain has set going carried out from the brain by the white on its own account. This brain power of matter. It is just as if two telegraph wires turning one kind of message into another without the intervention of the will is one of of the leg as far as the spinal cord, and when our highest gifts. Because we possess this we it reaches that, the impulse passes out of that can be trained to do certain actions as a result part of the nerve which generally conveys of receiving certain impressions; and though sensation into that part which generally gives at first the process of causing the action to fol. orders of motion, and the tickling or pinching low the sensation is a slow one, yet the two is followed by jerking of the legs. The may be done one immediately after the other movement of our legs in walking and vaagain and again, till at last the one will follow rious other actions of our body are conthe other without our thinking about it at all. trolled by the spinal cord without giving The soldier who falls into certain positions trouble to the brain. If it were not so, every as soon as he hears certain sounds, acts walk that we take would need so much thinkalmost like a machine when he has learned ing that it would be a labour instead of a his drill, though he went through much hard pleasure. As it is, we can use our brain for work when he was taught. We see the black thinking while we walk, and, in fact, our legs marks on this page, and (if we read aloud) carry us, as though they had power to think we utter certain sounds which we have been for us, wherever we want to go. taught to produce when we see these signs. The brain itself, the ruler of all, is a marThe nerve of sight conveys a message to the vellous structure; the nature and uses of its brain, and all the nerves which set the tongue various parts being, as yet, far from fully and organs of speech in motion are there- understood. One part of the brain, however, upon
made to act. Look at a child learning gives rise to all the nerves which bring to the to read; see how slowly he perceives the brain messages as to hearing and taste, which differences of form in the signs, and by what move the tongue and throat, and which help distinct efforts of will he has to set his voice to control the heart, the stomach, and other organs into the proper positions to produce internal organs. Another part has for its great the sounds which he is told to associate with office the control of the balance of the body, these signs. This power of the brain to be and the action of this part is disturbed when trained to produce mechanically—i.l. with a man has “put an enemy into his mouth to out our having to at all consider-certain steal away his brains.” But lying actually movements as the result of certain messages above all these, and in man covering and exsent to it, and to learn to do this quite cer- tending over them all, is that great part of the tainly, lies at the foundation of all education. brain which is the means by which we exer
The brain—the great centre of the nervous cise our powers of thinking, feeling, and willsystem--has a very important and valuable ing. How it does that, we know not. All assistant in the spinal cord, the great nerve we know is that when this highest part of the which runs out from the brain down the canal brain is injured, our mental powers are lesin the centre of our spine. All the nerves sened—they are destroyed, lost. Fibres from from the legs, the arms, and most of those the lower part of our brain pass into this from the trunk, are united to the spinal cord, higher part, and it is certain that the action of If any injury has happened to the spine, this higher part of the brain can interfere to through accident or disease, so that the control the actions of the inferior portions. spinal cord ceases to act, all the parts below What a lesson are we hereby taught! Man's the injury would be, as has been already higher brain power gives him control over said, paralyzed ; and no messages could go the impulses which he has in common with either from the legs to the brain or from the the lower animals. He can rule over brain to the legs. It would seem, therefore, these, and he is bound to do so if he wishes that all power of feeling and of motion would to attain that higher life to which his calling be quite gone; and so far as connection with as a Christian requires him to aspire. The the brain and real feeling are concerned, that whole structure of our nerves and the control is true. Any injury inflicted on the feet under which they are placed point out that would send no message to the brain, and we are bound to "strive for the mastery"over would not be felt. But, if the feet be pinched our lower impulses, and to attain kingship in or tickled, a message does go up the nerves that kingdom of God that is within us.
THE TWO PATHS:
Via Dolorosa and Dia Giojosa.
BY FRANCES RIDLEY HAVER GAL.
MY Master, they have wronged Thee and Thy love: With smoothest breadth of dust, and loss of view,
They only told me I should find the path Soiled blossoms not worth gathering, and the noise A Via Dolorosa all the way.
Of wheels instead of silence of the hills, Even Thy sweetest singers only sang
Or music of the waterfalls ? Oh, why Of pressing onward through the same sharp thorns Should they misrepresent Thy words, and make With bleeding footsteps; through the chill, dank mist, “Narrow" synonymous with “very hard” ? Following and struggling till they reach the light, For Thou, Divinest Wisdom, Thou hast said The rest, the sunshine of the Far Beyond.
Thy ways are ways of pleasantness, and all The anthems of the pilgrimage were set
Thy paths are peace; and that the path of him In most pathetic minors, exquisite,
Who wears Thy perfect robe of righteousness Yet breathing sadness more than any praise.
Is as the light that shineth more and more Thy minstrels let the fitful breezes make
Unto the perfect day! And Thou hast given Æolian moais on their entrusted harps,
An olden promise, rarely quoted now, Until the listeners thought that this was all
Because it is too bright for our weak faith : The music Thou hadst given. And so the steps
“If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend That halted where the two ways met and crossed,
Days in prosperity, and they shall pass The broad and narrow, turned aside in fear,
Their years in pleasures." All because Thy days Thinking the radiance of their youth must pass
Were full of sorrow, and Thy lonely years In sombre shadows if they followed Thee ;
Were passed in grief's acquaintance—all for us !
Master, I set my seal that Thou art true!
Of Thy good promise not one word hath failed,
And I would send a ringing challenge forth From entering the only path of peace !
To all who know Thy name, to come and tell Ma',ter, forgive them! Tune their harps anew
Thy faithfulness to every written word, And put a new song in their mouths for Thee!
Thy loving-kindness crowning all the days;
To say and sing with me, “ The Lord is good ; Lord Jesus, Thou hast trodden once for all His mercy is for ever,
and His truth The Via Dolorosa, and for us !
Is written on each page of all my life!" No artist-power or minstrel-gist may tell
Yes! there is tribulation, but Thy power The cost to Thee of each unfaltering step,
Can blend it with rejoicing. There are thorns, When love that passeth knowledge led Thee on, But they have kept us in the blessed way, Faithful and true to God, and true to us.
The king's highway of holiness and peace. And now, beloved Lord, Thou callest us
And there is chastening, but the Father's love To follow Thee, and we will take Thy word
Flows through it; and would any trusting heart About the path which Thou hast marked for us. Forego the chastening, and forego the love ? Narrow indeed it is: who does not choose
And every step leads on to "more and more : " The narrow track upon the mountain-side,
From strength to strength thy pilgrims pass, and sing With ever-widening view, and freshening air, The praise of Him who leads them on and on, And honeyed heather, rather than the road,
From glory unto glory even now.